Justin's Life...

~ August 2000 ~

August 24, 2000 - Thursday

Last night was the last episode of the television show Survivor... which has left me in a rather down mood today. On one hand, I realize that it's "just a TV show," but another part of me had grown accustomed to the castaways' faces and their weekly interactions, no matter how backstabbing, coercive or deceitful they might have been.

It's the same feeling I had after finishing the audio book Hannibal, but it's marginally even more intense because the characters are real. The crazy part of me wants to just hunt them down and become friends... mainly with Sue, the trucker driver gal. But I know that's ridiculous. I was only one of 51 million people watching the show last night, but I fell into that one way media trap.

So... who knows... I guess what I really wanted to say was that (about the show) and to let you know that this (the journal) and I are not meant to be "one way media". Now that doesn't meant I want you to "shout back at the TV," but rather, I want to connect, in real life, with people out there. I want to make this more than just "an interesting read." I actually want to meet people and have the journal cross over from being just "an interesting read" to something more... to me being a real person, a real part of your life.

It happened for Andrew. He lives here at the house now while he's attending school in LA for the next three years. It could happen for you, so take a chance, drop me a line at justin @ justinslife.com and hey, let's actually make an effort to meet in real life. Ya never know until you try.


August 30, 2000 - Thursday

Last year, after the huge failed ordeal of trying to take French III at USC, I decided the best course of action was to find a community college with a class that transferred as French III, take it this fall, and then transfer the credits to complete my academic career... keeping in mind, if needed, it would be easier to ask for forgiveness later instead of for permission first. (No place offers French III in the summer, and USC changed the rules so that you can't take classes in the Fall or Spring at institutions other than USC... but I'm supposedly grandfathered in to be under the rules as they were when I first attended USC, when taking classes outside USC in the Fall or Spring was totally acceptable, up to 12 units.)

Long story short, I found that class and began it three weeks ago. The first week, I was very much relieved that the professor was a native English speaker and spoke English, when needed, in class. The syllabus was in English, the book had English in it, and I thought while the class would by no means be easy for me, it would be a lot easier than French III had been at USC.

Anyway, the second week of class, a new girl showed up, Mystala, and she and I hit it off quickly. Amusingly, the very night we met, she started talking to me candidly about a fellow classmate Adam and how cute he was. I had already noticed Adam three classes earlier and had been mesmerized by his pale skin and Husky dog ice blue eyes, but I simply smiled and agreed quietly. When class was over and she asked me if I knew how late the bus ran, I offered to give her a ride home. She accepted, and that was that.

The next class, she and I again talked in French in class and in English afterwards. On the ride home, as she was going on again about how cute Adam was, I blurted, "I'm gay" and told her that I knew how cute he was because I thought he was cute, too. She said that she already knew (that I was gay), and I thought "oh well."

So, Monday night this past week came around and during the break, Mystala, Adam, and I were standing in the hall. We were next to a glass encased bulletin board that the college's gay group has use of, and Adam had asked me if I ever went to South Boston when we were talking earlier in class about places we lived and such. Now, to the best of my recollection, South Boston was the gay section, so I wondered if he was subtly hinting that he knew something... so I asked, "Is South Boston the gay section?"

He said no, that it was the Irish section, and then we started talking about how I thought it might have been the gay section, from what I remembered. The conversation ensued and pretty soon, we were talking about gay guys and the like. Of what was said, two things stuck out in particular: Adam said that that was their business, he didn't have any problem with it, but that two guys just didn't fit together right physically. Mystala countered that while straight, she had been the president of her high school's gay-straight alliance, but that she "knew it was wrong" (to be gay).

Adam's reaction was as expected... despite taking French, he oozed of straight upwardly mobile poor boy, but Mystala's comment threw me for a loop. How could she be so friendly to me and still think that being gay was wrong? How could she think something about me, something about the core of my being, was "wrong"?

I sat for the remainder of class wishing more than usual for it to be done. I felt overwhelmed in regards to the class material, and I really wanted to confront Mystala about her thinking, to let her know how misguided and uninformed it was.

Soon, class was over and Adam, Mystala, and I were walking down the hallway towards the building exit. Mystala and I, stalking Adam for slightly different reasons, walked on his flank and the three of us began talking as we got to the sidewalk. I don't remember how I segue-wayed into it, but I told Adam that I was gay, and therefore I was speaking from experience in the hallway earlier (where I'd compared being gay to being left handed and how gay guys were born being attracted to men, like lefties were born being left handed). I don't remember the phrasing of his response, but it was less than positive... something to the effect of being gay was my problem.

The three of us continued talking on the way to the car, and well, it was just awkward. After Adam's path diverted from ours, Mystala and I began talking about his reaction and about her thinking that being gay was wrong.

By the time we got to her house, about ten minutes away, she seemed to have changed her thinking, saying how she couldn't see fault in me for having the same thoughts as she did: She thought Adam was cute but had no explaining of why her brain worked that way... so how could she fault me for having the same thoughts. I was amazed, and pleasantly surprised, at just how logically she approached it.

Yet, before the change in thought, she brought up Bible verses about a man shall not lay down with a man. Baffled that people were actually still using that logic, yet realizing that the Bible was a very real part of her life, I told her that I'd seen something before and looked it up in the Bible for myself: it said that said if you lay down with your uncle's wife, both of you shall die childless. I argued that I know guys have had sex with their aunts, and she does get pregnant. Why should the man/man verse have any more merit than the sex with your aunt verse? Why do we know for a fact that you could make your aunt pregnant and therefore both NOT die childless, but still hold stock in the man shall not lie with a man?

She saw my point and I really believe, while very hardcoded in her religion, that she saw a glimmer at least of how being gay isn't wrong, even in the eyes of God. (Her father, for what it's worth, is a black pastor. She invited me to church and vacation Bible school. She even responded that she was saved so she had no worry of being shot when I asked her about a shooting at her high school; so, for her, it was quite a change.)


All that was Monday... and then came last night's class. I decided not to go. I had no real worries about class with Adam, but given the fact that I hadn't done the homework and felt overwhelmed the class before, Adam's opinion was support for not going.

Now, I don't mean that the way it sounds on the surface... I didn't let Adam stop me from going to class. I didn't want to go, and having it maybe be awkward was just another reason to add to those of sufficient merit already.

I primarily didn't go because I hadn't done the homework and because I felt that I would be better served studying, catching up, even pre-reading to be ahead of the class a bit, before returning... instead of falling on my face in front of everyone or wishing with all my might that I wouldn't be called on by the professor. I was also pretty drained for other reasons, which, time will reveal.

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© 2000 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's